October 29, 2002

OCTOBER 29, 2002 GERALD D. REID, Assistant Attorney General 207-626-8800

Attorney General Steven Rowe today announced that his office has filed a civil enforcement action under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Glen McFarland, 25, of Sanford. The complaint, filed in York County Superior Court, alleges that McFarland assaulted the victim because he believed the victim was gay. According to the Complaint, McFarland used derogatory language concerning the victim's perceived sexual orientation as he beat and kicked the victim. The Complaint also alleges that the assault caused injuries that required hospital treatment. The alleged attack occurred on August 14, 2002, on Pleasant Street in Springvale.

The Maine Civil Rights Act prohibits any person from assaulting or threatening another person motivated by reason of sexual orientation, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, gender, or physical or mental disability. The Attorney General's complaint seeks to enjoin McFarland from any further bias-motivated threats or acts of violence, property damage, or trespass against the victim or others. He also faces civil penalties of up to $5,000.

Attorney General Rowe stated: "The Civil Rights Act is intended to protect people in Maine against bias-motivated violence or threats of violence. We are working with local law enforcment to provide that protection and to make sure that those who violate this law are held accountable."

Rowe commended the Sanford Police Department for its investigation of the incident. The Department referred the case to Rowe's office for possible action under the Maine Civil Rights Act.